Summary of passages: John 12:12-22: The Passover Feast attendants heard Jesus was heading to Jerusalem so they run out to meet him, carrying palm branches and calling him the King of Israel. Jesus enters on a donkey. His disciples don’t understand this. Many people believed in Jesus and the Pharisees are angered. Some Greeks even wanted to see Jesus.
Matthew 21:1-16: Jesus sends two disciples to fetch him a donkey and her colt as they approached Jerusalem, which fulfills God’s word. Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem where a very large crowd went ahead of him, announcing him as the Son of David. Jesus entered and again threw out the money changers from the temple. Jesus healed the blind and the lame. The chief priests were indignant as the children praised him.
Mark 11:1-11: Jesus sends two disciples to fetch him a donkey and her colt as they approached Jerusalem, which fulfills God’s word. Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem where a very large crowd went ahead of him, announcing him as coming in the name of the Lord. Jesus went to the temple but left since it was late, spending the night in Bethany with his disciples.
Luke 19:29-46: Jesus sends two disciples to fetch him a donkey and her colt as they approached Jerusalem, which fulfills God’s word. Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem where a very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road for him. The disciples began to joyful praise God and for sending the King. The Pharisees, angry at this, yelled at Jesus to rebuke his disciples. Jesus said he could not for the stones would cry if he did.
As Jesus approached Jerusalem he wept for he knew the future when the city would be destroyed and many would die. He entered the temple and drove out the vendors.
6) Psalm 118:25-26: Jesus is blessed and he shines his light upon us. The festal procession took place with boughs in hand. God’s word is true.
Zechariah 9:9: Jesus comes righteous and with salvation, riding on a colt of a donkey. God’s word is true.
7a) Disciples, Pharisees, children, Jewish believers and non-believers, Greeks
b) Personal Question. My answer: In all aspects He calls me.
Conclusions: Such an exciting passage. Such a let down in the questions. Can we please unpack these verses? See End Notes for just that.
End Notes: John 12:12-22: From here on out, Jesus will be in Jerusalem. This inaugurates Passion Week and is a deliberate action by Jesus to provoke the Jewish leaders against him.
This was the large crowd gathered for the greatest holidays of Judaism – Passover. Many were from Galilee. All came with lambs, which was required as a sacrifice. The lamb had to live with the family for at least three days before sacrifice (Exodus 12:3-6). Hence, picture this scene with Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem, surrounded by lambs–him being the greatest Lamb of all!
Josephus, the Jewish historian, tells us that one year a census was taken of the number of lambs slain for Passover and that figure was 256,500. Can you imagine this today? That’s a lot of lambs! The animal rights people would be up in arms!
Palm branches were a symbol of Jewish nationalism since the time of the Maccabees. Still seeing Jesus as a political and national savior, they welcomed him as king, ignoring the spiritual side. Later, palms appeared as national symbols on the coins struck by the Judean insurgents during the first and second revolts against Rome (ad 66-70 and 132-135).
Hosanna means “save now” and is from Psalm 118:25-6. They welcomed him as Messiah.
Jesus sits on the donkey for both fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 9:9) and to indicate his kingdom is not military or political–it’s spiritual. The donkey was used by clergyman and for peace. Otherwise, Jesus would be riding a war horse. Doing this, the Roman probably didn’t think much of Jesus. He had no army with him.
‘Daughter of Zion’ is a personification of the city of Jerusalem; it occurs frequently in the Old Testament, especially in the later prophets. (Tenney)
Since only God has the power to raise the dead, the people were convinced Jesus would have the power to overthrow the Romans since he could do such a feat.
“The world has gone after him”, like Caiaphas’ (John 11:50) words, are prophetic as well.
We are not told the nature of these Greeks. Were they converts? Curiosity seekers? One scholar (Bruce) speculates that between verses 19 and 20 a day or two had elapsed: Jesus was no longer on the road to Jerusalem, but teaching daily in the temple precincts. And in the meantime, according to Mark 11:15-17, he had expelled the traders and moneychangers from the precincts — that is, more precisely, from the outer court — in order that the place might fulfill its divinely ordained purpose of being ‘a house of prayer for all the nations’ (Isaiah 56:7). Did these Greeks recognize this action as having been undertaken in the interests of Gentiles like themselves who, when they came up to worship the true God, had to confine themselves to the outer court?
Why Philip? He’s the one disciple with a Greek name. These men have often been compared to the Three Magi. They come to the cross.
Matthew 21:1-16: Up until this point, Jesus had acted in secret for the most part, avoiding attention and the Romans seeking him. Now, his time come, he makes a huge public entrance, announcing to all he has arrived.
John omits the part of obtaining the colt. Matthew does not. Jesus chooses to ride on the younger animal, the colt. Mark and Luke tell us it has never been ridden before so it’s prudent to bring its mother along. Here we see the Creator of the Universe riding his creation. Awesome! Zechariah mentions only one animal in his prophesy.
The day was chosen as well to fulfill Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks (Daniel 9:24-7). Jesus may even have spoken these words in verses 4-5.
Great people used to ride on donkeys (Judges10;4; 12:14) until horses came upon the scene. Now we seek Jesus as the Prince of Peace, riding a lowly animal that now only poor people rode and used to carry burdens.
The people’s reaction is one of honor: spreading out their cloaks and cutting branches. It also spoke of victory and success.
Hosanna was also addressed to kings (2 Samuel 14:4 & 2 Kings 6:26). The people are unafraid to proclaim Jesus as their Savior and Messiah. Jesus receives this as the day the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24).
Jesus knew he was in danger but he was unafraid of the Pharisees here.
Note in Matthew 2:3 when the Magi came looking for the King of Jews, ‘all Jerusalem’ was troubled. Now when the king arrives all the city is stirred.
In five days these same people will demand Jesus to be crucified. How fickle are us humans! How tragic.
It was here, before he entered the city, that Jesus wept over it and what would come (Luke 19:41-44).
This scene is different than the one we already studied in John 2:13-22. Obviously, the people continued in their cheating ways, charging way too much for sacrificial animals. A pair of doves cost 4p outside the Temple and as much as 75p inside the Temple. This is almost 20 times more expensive.
Note, however, this time Jesus is condemning both the buyers and the sellers for it takes two for this sin to happen. The money lenders would not be there if there were no demand for their services.
The money changers would be there again. The act is important though, the condemnation. Jesus was showing all this is not okay.
Once the money lenders were cleared, Jesus could concentrate on his real work: healing. The blind and the lame were not allowed in the temple. Thus, they could not offer sacrifices. Again, Jesus went to them like he does us.
The hypocritical priests are content with money lenders but not healers. It was common for kids to shout praises. The problem was calling Jesus “the Son of David.” Jesus says kids matter too.
Mark 11:1-11: Sending his disciples ahead of him left nothing to chance. This had to be right. He had to enter as the suffering servant, not a general.
Mark’s wording suggests Jesus had pre-arranged the taking of the colt with the owner.
Finally, the people honor Jesus for who he is not what he can give them. Clothing was expensive in those days and most people wore the same clothes for days. Laying out their cloaks for Jesus was an extravagant sacrifice indeed. Public honor is encouraged here.
We call this event the “Triumphal Entry,” but it was a different kind of triumph. In the Romans’ eyes, this was far from triumphant. To them, a Triumphal Entry was a honor granted to a Roman general who won a complete and decisive victory and had killed at least 5,000 enemy soldiers. When the general returned to Rome, they had an elaborate parade. First came the treasures captured from the enemy, then the prisoners. His armies marched by unit by unit, and finally the general rode in a golden chariot pulled by magnificent horses. Priests burned incense in his honor and the crowds shouted his name and praised him. The procession ended at the arena, where some of the prisoners were thrown to wild animals for the entertainment of the crowd. That was a Triumphal Entry, not a Galilean peasant sitting on a few coats set out on a pony.
Jesus inspected everything, mainly seeking the hearts of the people.
Note in Mark we didn’t read: Mark’s record contains the more complete quotation of Jesus’ reference to Isaiah 56:7: Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations?” (Mark 11:17). Isaiah prophesied, and Jesus demanded that the temple be a place for all nations to pray. The money lenders were making it impossible for any Gentile to come and pray.
Luke 19:29-46: So what is the triumph here? The triumph of humility over pride and worldly grandeur; of poverty over affluence; and of meekness and gentleness over rage and malice.
The Pharisees know they are losing with the drowning out of the devil’s voice. They ask Jesus to quiet the disciples to which Jesus replies how creation will cry out.
In some old copies of the Bible, they removed the passage about Jesus weeping here, because they thought that if Jesus were perfect He would not weep. But the perfection of Jesus demands that He weep at this occasion, when Israel rejected their only opportunity to escape the destruction to come.
God does not rejoice in His judgement. Jesus here showed the heart of God, how even when judgment must be pronounced, it is never done with joy. Even when God’s judgment is perfectly just and righteous, His heart weeps at the bringing of the judgment.
“On this day”. This day was likely the day prophesied by Daniel that Messiah the Prince would come unto Jerusalem. Daniel said that it would be 483 years on the Jewish calendar from the day of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the day the Messiah would come to Jerusalem. By the reckoning of Sir Robert Anderson, this was fulfilled 483 years later to the day (by the Jewish reckoning of 360 day years, as in Daniel 9:25).
This is the day mentioned in Psalm 118:24: This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Jerusalem means “city of peace”. Jesus predicted what would happen when the Romans attacked Jerusalem. Therefore, he weeps.
Summary of passage: A pregnant woman appeared wearing the sun with the moon at her feet and crown of 12 stars on her head. A red dragon appeared in heaven with 7 heads, 10 horns, and 7 crowns. His tail swept 1/3 of the stars out of the sky upon the earth. The woman birthed a male child who was taken by God to his throne before the dragon could eat him. The woman fled to the desert to be cared for by God for 1,260 days.
3) Pregnant woman–nation of Israel; Dragon–devil; a son–Jesus
4a) Genesis 3:1-15: The devil is more crafty than anything other wild animal God made. He deceives people. God curses the devil who will eat dust all the days of his life. He will send a mediator (Jesus) to crush him.
John 8:44: The devil was a murderer from the beginning and a liar. He is the father of lies and speaks in different languages.
1 Peter 5:8: The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
b) Satan perverts human nature and encourages sin. God does not intervene. Romans 1 says man gives in to lusts and engage in same-sex activities. They have a depraved mind, filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, God-hatred, insolent, arrogant, and boastful. They invent more ways to do evil. They disobey their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, and ruthless.
Timothy says people will be lovers of themselves and money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, and lovers of pleasure.
Romans 8 says a person’s only hope is Jesus to be free from sin and death.
5a) It snatched the child up to heaven before the dragon could devour it and it sent the mother to a prepared place in the desert so God could care for her for 1,260 days.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Same way. Sheltered me. Prepared a place for me in heaven. Cared for me and my family. Been the refuge He promises to be when times are tough.
Conclusions: You knew 5b was coming. Again, straight-forward. No meat. See End Notes for the meat.
End Notes: This is the first of 7 signs, called mega or great in Greek. We are going to see 7 figures of the Tribulation as well, 3 are introduced here. They are:
· The woman, representing Israel
· The dragon, representing Satan
· The man-child, referring to Jesus
· The angel Michael, head of the angelic host
· The offspring of the woman, representing Gentiles who come to faith in the Tribulation
· The beast out of the sea, representing the antichrist
· The beast out of the earth, representing the false prophet who promotes the antichrist
Who is the woman? Since this is a sign, scholars don’t expect this woman to appear on earth. Scholars define biblical signs as an extraordinary spectacle or event that points beyond itself. She’s a symbol who has been given authority (moon under her feet and crown of 12 stars).
We have seen Jezebel in Revelation 2:20 representing false teaching. We will see a Great Harlot in Revelation 17:2 pertaining to false religion and the Bride in Revelation 19:7-8 for the church.
Catholics see this woman as Mary. Art often depicts Mary as standing on a crescent moon with 12 stars around her head.
Some say she represents the believing Messianic community
Some scholars say, however, this woman is Israel. In Joseph’s dream (Genesis 37:9-11), the sun represented Jacob, the moon represented Joseph’s mother, Rachel, and the eleven stars were the sons of Israel which bowed down to Joseph. In this sign Joseph is the twelfth star since at the time Joseph was just a boy with no sons yet.
In other Old Testament passages, Israel (or Zion or Jerusalem) is often represented as a woman (Isaiah 54:1-6, Jeremiah 3:20, Ezekiel 16:8-14, and Hosea 2:19-20).
The woman has to be either Mary or Israel since she gave birth to Jesus. It can’t be the church since Jesus gave birth to the church (Matthew 16:18). The rest of Revelation 12 will show this is Israel.
Historically, the woman has been viewed as Mary since the Catholic church dominated the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It has only been recently viewed in a wider sense. Good article HERE debating who she is.
Some scholars say the pain represents the Roman occupation of Israel during the first century AD. I say it’s the pain of childbirth woman was cursed with from the Garden (Genesis 3:16).
We have seen this imagery used before when Micah uses it to describe Israel carted off by Babylon to captivity (Micah 4:9-10). He continues in 5:2-4 to say Israel will suffer to purify the people and allow the remnant to emerge.
Who is the dragon? The dragon, another sign, represents power (7 heads & 10 horns) and authority (7 crowns). 7 represents completeness so complete power and authority. The Greek word for crowns (diadema) is only used in the book of Revelation. It is different than the crowns the woman wears in verse 1 (stephanos). The crown is permanent victory whereas the diadema is simply power and authority.
The dragon appears in every major civilization in their myths. Up until the end of the Renaissance and even into the Industrial Revolution, people believed in dragons.
In the Old Testament, we see dragons as symbols of enemies of God or Israel (Psalm 74:14; Isaiah 27:1; Ezekiel 29:3).
Some scholars say the dragon is the Roman empire and cite Revelation 13:1 and Daniel 7:7-8: 2. However, in verse 9, he’s revealed to be Satan along with Revelation 20:2.
The dragon is evil, plain and simple.
Many believe the 1/3 of the stars flung to earth is 1/3 of Satan’s angels flung to earth in light of the next few verses (Revelation 12:7, 9). Some say they’re nations or kings.
The dragon has tried before to devour the child. The devil used Herod (Matthew 2:16-18) to kill the first-borns. The devil tried himself (John 8:58 & Mark 4:35-41). Esther saved her people when Haman tried to exterminate the Jews (Esther 3:6).
Who is the child? We know Jesus rules with an iron scepter (Psalm 2:7-9; Revelation 19:15).
Again, we see 1,260 days (or 3 1/2 years), which is the time of the Great Tribulation. Verse 5 shows the ascension of Jesus and this time frame in verse 6. We are in-between both.
This passage foreshadows the Great Tribulation. Those who believe believers will be spared from the Tribulation (mid-tribulationists) point to this passage. At the end, 1/3 of God’s people (the remnant) will go into hiding (or be raptured) for 3 1/2 years and emerge at the end to heaven on earth. Post -tribulationists use this passage as well to say Christians will still face the tribulation before the rapture.
THE BIG PICTURE: We see the birth of Jesus as calm and soothing as a baby in a manger worshiped by three magi. Smiling animals are in the manger and a star leads the way. Here, John is saying, “No!” We see Jesus’ birth how the devil did: a battle for earthly authority with a dragon waiting to eat a newborn baby. Here, on earth, God and Satan fight for control. We see this in the choices we make. However, in the supernatural universe, there is a war going on constantly. Here, in Revelation 12 and throughout the rest of the book, we will see the final outcome of that battle being told. And, of course, God wins!
Just for Fun: Cool pictures of Woman and Dragon HERE and HERE
Images of Mary with stars and moon: This one is an altar image in Germany HEREThis one is in Strasbourg Cathedral HEREPapal Mitre HERE
Great article of history of Mary in art world. She was the most painted woman in art until the eighteenth century. She was painted by every major artist up until then. HERE